Here we are at the ending of a year that has brought pestilence and pain to many, has revealed the shaky foundations of our liberties and left us wondering when the next blow will strike.
Best it is buried deep, but not forgotten.
Its message being that we should take care to whom we surrender the power to direct our lives because the answer to the question ‘Quid custodiet ipsos custodes’ is no one but themselves. They can lie, cheat and steal with impunity if so inclined…and most of them seem to be on a pretty steep incline!
Still, a new year dawns and its hope brings us together, even if only virtually – preferably with a wee drappie o’t to ease the rough path ahead of us.
And now we’ve partaken of the clochan dichter – the penultimate glass – to warm the cockles of our hearts, we’ll prepare to set off to face whatever shall befall us in the coming year, with the deoch an doris…the parting glass itself.
To blazes with clean air acts….keep those lums reeking in the year to come!
Amidst all the vexed questions of the day – the virus, the collapse of the main road to the coast, the strange case of the hostel for ex criminals which either does – if you have eyes – exist or – if you are on the council payroll – does not, the failure to produce an annual budget …..well, you name it, the local council haven’t done it – our lords and masters have but one thing on what they are pleased to call their minds….
Where is the Christmas tree?
It was there in the park last year….but now that Christmas is upon us yet again it seems to have disappeared, leaving no bauble behind to mark its passage.
The deputy mayor has announced that no stone has been left unturned in order to find it…which might explain the total inaction of said council and staff on other matters, though cynics aver that no one employed by the council would consent to turn over a stone and that their union would have demanded that contractors – related to union officials – be hired to undertake so dangerous an occupation. Other cynics hold to an alternative theory…..that were you to turn over stones in the council building you might find where the bodies are buried and no one involved in local government can contemplate that possibility with equanimity.
Dark suggestions have been made that the disappearance of tree and ornaments coincided with the departure from office of the last mayor, a member of the PUSC party whose name to an anglophone conjures up images of badly wrapped bandages over running sores, which quite accurately describes its general policies. But it seems unlikely…even here, people would notice if he put up a towering, luminous monstrosity in his garden and questions might be posed.
As the suggestions appear to emanate from the incoming party – Liberation – it might be thought that they are disappointed at having been robbed of the chance to liberate the Thing for themselves, but they are really scraping the barrel if they hope to smear the ex mayor with the disappearance of a Christmas tree when there is so much else with which to hope to smear him. The only problem being that to set up a proper smear campaign might remind people of the last time Liberation held the office of mayor.
There could be confusion.
So the tree it is.
There is a Costa Rican tradition of businesses contributing to the public good….in emergencies following earthquakes and floods their local shops take collections and their lorries make deliveries where needed.
They also contribute locally….currently one business is busy transforming a building in the park from what had once been consecutively an aquarium, a police post, a drug dealers’ bunker, boarded up, to a public loo – a much needed facility to those who spend most of the day on the benches in the shade watching the world go by.
Except that the trees offering the most shade to the benches have been cut down and the park has been closed off since the virus struck, leaving the park bench brigade to assemble on the benches on the streets surrounding the park in promiscuous disregard of distancing advice and at grave risk of sunburn now the rainy season is over.
And the work was begun under the aegis of the previous administration and only now is it ‘discovered’ that the appropriate building permits were not in order….and, horror of horrors, the firm concerned had their logo clearly visible on the bandstand, which they had also renovated without the appropriate permits….
I have a theory that they also donated the Christmas tree and have decided not to erect it this year in view of the ingratitude of the current administration, but that is only a guess. I have no inside information as social life has declined thanks to this blasted bug and the telephone and e mail are no substitute for the person leaning forward over the table to say
‘Don Freddy tells me that…’
Mark you, even the telephone, etc., would not have helped as the local development committee decided to sort out the back road into town and managed to take out my telephone lines in the process. Then the telephone repair man could not get through, thanks to said committee’s JCB blocking the road so he reported that he could not gain access to the property and messed off. Only by using my mobile ‘phone to ask when the work was to be done did I discover that officially the ticket had been closed and that I would have to open a new report and wait three more days for someone to show up.
Still, there are ways of passing the time.
A puppy has been inserted into the household….I had forgotten the delights of a puppy’s presence…beating it off with a loo brush while trying to pull up the knickers which it has seized in its razor sharp teeth….hopping on one foot to recover the shoe for the other foot which it has taken to hide under the bed….disengaging it from the curtains….trying to find the loo brush which it has dragged into the garden….
With or without a Christmas tree, but with a puppy, it’s a great life if you don’t weaken.